Kristin S. Shigemura


Kristin is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department.

Kristin has extensive litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience in a wide variety of matters with concentration in labor and employment, medical malpractice, insurance defense, and health care. She represents some of Hawaii’s largest public and private employers in all aspects of their labor and employment needs. Kristin has represented the largest hospital system statewide with tort claims, premises liability claims, and medical staff credentialing and peer review.

Prior to joining Cades Schutte, Kristin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marie N. Milks, Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii.

Employment/Labor Law

  • Successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission’s “right to sue” procedures, ensuring jury trials for employers on employment discrimination claims in SCI Management v. Sims, 101 Hawaii 438, 71 P.3d 389 (2003).
  • Representation of employers for state and federal EEOC and HCRC claims and civil lawsuits alleging violations of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1981, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Hawaii Whistleblower’s Protection Act, H.R.S. Ch. 378, and retaliation claims.
  • Representation of employers in coordination and resolution of employees’ various civil, administrative, collective bargaining, unemployment, FMLA, and worker’s compensation claims.
  • Representation of employer in class action discrimination Title VII claim involving allegations of retaliation and national origin discrimination.
  • Defense of grievance arbitrations involving discipline and termination of employees for workplace violence, patient abuse, sexual harassment and other misconduct.
  • Litigation involving breach of independent contractor agreements and non-compete agreements.
  • Conducting employee investigations.
  • Drafting of employee handbooks and policies and training/counseling of management and staff regarding risk avoidance and proactive management practices.

Health Law

  • Conducting investigations for hospital system for compliance with federal CMS and Anti-kickback regulations.
  • Advising major hospital system administration and medical staff in peer review proceedings, corrective action, and bylaw review.
  • Representation and negotiation on behalf of hospitals in coverage and payment disputes with health care insurers.
  • Successful defense of H.R.S. 103D and 103F procurement disputes from administrative hearing through civil litigation.

Insurance Defense and Professional Liability

  • Defense of hospitals and physicians in medical malpractice litigation in state and federal courts.
  • Defense of manufacturers and retailers in products liability cases involving strict liability, product defects and mass tort liability.
  • Premises liability.
  • Personal injury and wrongful death.
  • Current and historical sex abuse claims.

Commercial and Real Estate Litigation

  • Non-disclosure in residential real property sales.
  • Obtained rescission of fraudulent sale of property from LLC to undisclosed related company.
  • Enforcement of major shopping mall tenant’s lease covenants against landlord for violation of exclusive use provisions.
  • Successfully argued client’s challenge to County requirement of conditional use permit for cellular antennae in Conservation District.
  • Trademark litigation involving cybersquatting forcing the transfer of infringing domain names to client.
  • Enforcement of easement and right of way in residential and commercial properties.


  • J.D. (1997), Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude
  • B.A. (1994), University of California at Berkeley

Awards and Honors

  • Listed in Best Lawyers®, since 2015
  • 2012 Chambers and Partners®, Labor & Employment: Leading Individuals; Up-and-Coming


  • Hawaii State Bar (1997)
  • United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
  • United States Circuit Court of the Ninth Circuit


  • Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Hawaii Access to Justice Commission (2008-present)
    • Subcommittees on Initiatives to Enhance Civil Justice (2008-present)
    • Ad Hoc Pro Bono Committee (2012-present)
    • Subcommittee on Barriers to Access to Justice (2008-2010)
  • Board of Directors Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (2008-2014)
  • Board of Directors Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre (2003-2011)
  • Halau Na Mamo O Pu’uanahulu
  • Chair of the firm’s Recruiting Committee
  •  “Proactive HR:  Implementing Best Practices to Minimize Legal Risks,” Hawaii Employers Council seminar (July 2016) (co-presenter with Amanda M. Jones, Esq.)
  • “Crime Shouldn’t Pay: Avoiding Employer Liability from the Use of Criminal Background Checks,” Hawaii Employer’s Council seminar (July 2015) (co-presenter with Amanda M. Jones, Esq.)
  • Files Are Our Friends: Strategies for Complying with Recordkeeping Laws and Avoiding Legal Disputes,” Hawaii Employers Council seminar (May 2014) (co-presenter with Amanda M. Jones, Esq. and Elijah Yip, Esq.)